Goa aim to end mini slump at the expense of Hyderabad
FC Goa will be looking to return to winning ways when they travel to the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Hyderabad for a clash against Hyderabad FC on Sunday. After staying unbeaten in their first four matches, the Gaurs suffered their first loss against Jamshedpur FC and in the following match against Kerala Blasters, barely managed to scrape through with a draw courtesy a Lenny Rodrigues equaliser in the final seconds of the tie. Hyderabad FC, on the other hand, will be keen on securing three points themselves as they look to move off the bottom spot in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 standings.
Hyderabad have taken four points from a possible nine at home and will be eager to improve that record. Their last game saw them score a late equaliser through Robin Singh to get a point at home while playing with 10 men against defending champions Bengaluru. Head coach Phil Brown, though, will want a win desperately as the Hero ISL newcomers look to turn around what has been a disappointing season so far.
Robin along with Marcelo Pereira will be their main attacking threats and Brown will be hoping the two of them can help engineer an early goal against Goa. The Indian striker, in particular, will be confident after netting last time around and the added incentive of scoring against a former team in Goa – just like he did against Bengaluru – may work in Hyderabad’s favour. Target-man Bobo and Giles Barnes are two other options at Hyderabad’s disposal should they feel the need for a change in personnel up front.
As far as their defence goes, Matthew Kilgallon and Rafael Lopez Gomez will need to shoulder most the responsibility in the backline in the absence of a suspended Gurtej Singh and Sahil Panwar. Adil Khan’s potential return from injury will, however, help soften the double blow a bit. Brown will also ask more of his midfield with the likes of Nikhil Poojary, Marko Stankovic, Rohit Kumar and Abhishek Halder capable of producing more.
Sergio Lobera and his players will be itching to return to the pitch after back-to-back disappointing results, especially by their high standards. While there are still questions over star striker Ferran Corominas’ availability after the Spaniard missed the last two outings due to injury, the return of Hugo Boumous, Seiminlen Doungel and Ahmed Jahouh from respective suspensions will surely be a shot in the arm for the team. Having said that, the Gaurs will need to do without the towering presence of Mourtada Fall at the back after the big centre-back picked up a red card against Kerala Blasters in Goa’s last match. In the absence of the Senegalese, Lobera is likely to throw in Chinglensana Singh or Mohamed Ali in the mix to partner Carlos Pena in the heart of the defence.
The Gaurs’ midfield engine-room, meanwhile, features two local boys Brandon Fernandes and Lenny Rodrigues. The duo has looked impressive at the centre of the park this campaign with Brandon providing the assists and Lenny scoring goals, including their injury time equaliser against Kerala in the last match. If Coro ends up missing out yet again, the young Manvir Singh may be asked to lead the line with the returning Doungel and Boumous representing two other alternatives for the role.
Hyderabad FC: Kamaljit Singh (GK), Asish Rai, Rafael Lopez Gomez, Matthew Kilgallon, Nikhil Poojary, Mohammed Yasir, Marko Stankovic, Laldanmawia Ralte, Giles Barnes, Marcelo Pereira, Robin Singh
FC Goa: Mohammad Nawaz (GK), Carlos Pena, Seriton Fernandes, Mohamed Ali, Mandar Rao Dessai, Lenny Rodrigues, Ahmed Jahouh, Brandon Fernandes, Edu Bedia, Hugo Boumous, Manvir Singh
DID YOU KNOW?
- Hyderabad have conceded most goals this season (13).
- Six of these 13 goals have been conceded in the final 15 minutes of matches.
- Goa are yet to lose a match this season after scoring first.
Can the Hyderabad defence keep a clean sheet against Goa?
Have your say in the comments below.
Live broadcast schedule:
Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 34: Hyderabad FC vs FC Goa
Time: 7:30 PM onwards, December 8
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV